YouTube is targeting mobile gaming instead of going head-to-head with Twitch

youtube mobile device

With YouTube continuing to grow its live content by adding former Twitch stars to its roster, it’s also taking a different approach to the games it caters to.

In 2015, YouTube launched a video game-oriented vertical called YouTube Gaming. This appeared alongside a now-defunct app curating gaming content for viewers, cutting out all of the non-gamer videos.

This vertical would grow to introduce YouTube’s live streaming service which took on the same moniker. Since then, it’s been hard not to draw a comparison between the titan video hosting site YouTube and the king of independent live streaming Twitch.

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And these comparisons only became more frequent after YouTube began offering Twitch’s biggest partners lucrative contracts. But headhunting for streamers is only one way YouTube Gaming intends to grow. According to a representative from StreamElements, YouTube caters to a different market of gamers.

YouTube Gaming caters to mobile gamers

In June 2022, Twitch garnered a staggering 1.7 billion hours of watch time across all categories. According to a report from StreamElements, YouTube Gaming trailed with only 290 million hours. In comparison, Twitch’s Just Chatting section along saw 256M hours of watch time in that same time span.

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Of course, YouTube Gaming’s 290 million hours only includes the platform’s live gaming content. The report stated that if it were to include YouTube’s VOD watch time, it would be the largest player overall.

But StreamElements report also reveals an interesting difference between the platforms. While Twitch caters to PC and Console gamers – as reflected by the platform’s top 10 games – YouTube’s top 10 categories include several mobile titles.

Coming in at spots two, seven, and eight are mobile games that have seen millions of hours watched in June alone. A spokesperson from StreamElements stated, “Garena Free Fire, Battlegrounds Mobile India, and Mobile Legends Bang Bang reflect a passionate international mobile games audience that isn’t reflected in Twitch’s top 10.”

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twitch vs youtube top gamesStreamElements

They credit this to YouTube’s broader focus on emerging markets where mobile games thrive. This is in contrast to Twitch’s focus on chat streams along with PC and console gaming.

That’s not to say Twitch doesn’t offer mobile gaming content. Even YouTube’s most watched game clocking in at 17 million hours is 20 million hours less than the 10th game on Twitch’s list.

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